Putting a price on housework
AS YOU toil away doing the washing, ironing and school run, it can easily feel like your family take your hard work for granted.
So it may come as some solace to know that the value of housework – and the amount it contributes to the economy – is to be given full recognition by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Experts have calculated how much various tasks would cost if you had to pay someone else to do them.
So far they have found that laundry services, including making, repairing, washing, drying and pressing clothes, were worth £97.2 billion (R1.691 trillion) in the UK in 2012. Of that, washing and drying accounted for £86.3bn. Informal childcare – meaning free care from parents and other relatives – was said to be worth £343bn in 2010. This is about three times the contribution of the financial services industry.
Household transport including the school run was worth £269bn in 2010. Informal adult care was worth £61.7bn in 2010.
Britons also carried out more than 2 billion hours of voluntary work in 2012, including raising money for charity and running groups, valued at £23.9bn.
Valerie Fender, head of economic well-being at the ONS, believes the “unpaid economy” is worth about the same as the GDP, which is the principal means of determining the financial health of the UK. – Daily Mail